The Great Agency Industry [R]Evolution

The Great Agency Industry [R]Evolution

Ad World Masters launches on the verge of the biggest disruption ever experienced by the market: Digitalization!

No, we don’t speak of digitalization of any business or digitalization of part of processes inside the way agencies operate on a daily basis. We’re talking about the digitalization of how an agency gets new business. But first, let’s do a brief recap…

How the agency market has evolved previously

At the turn of the millennium, and long into the first decade of this century, the established agency order has been shaken up by emerging digital agencies. Eager to prevent this, conventional agencies made what they knew best to limit the competition: acquisitions. A double-win situation for agencies of the pre-Internet era: killing competition while acquiring the know-how and expertise lacking inside, and therefore bringing the competitive edge needed to stay in the run (or survive some would say).

Because of the Internet and its mass adoption, the demand for digital agencies did not stop but continued increasing and, with the technology becoming more and more affordable, more people could also learn competences and sell services that were once held by only a few. This meant that even more agencies could arise every day. The threshold to open an agency nowadays is only limited to owning a computer and having the knowledge and know-how, which anybody can learn online.

The reality of the business today

It could be summed up in a few words: in-house, consultancies, freelancers.
Clients are doing more and more in-house. It started with digital services and slowly shifted to creative services, with “creativity” no longer being the purview of only agencies nowadays.
With today’s digital landscape not only did agencies have to adapt, but clients also had to find a way to evolve and grow with the Internet. Bringing things in-house was both an opportunity and a necessity for brands to have better control and be more efficient while competing with new brands born on the Internet.

The growing number of freelancers, and their easy accessibility through various networks, are a driving force in the industry. Whether in PR, video production, web design, social media, or SEO, freelancers are giving agencies, brands, and everybody in between the ability to meet demand, whenever and wherever necessary.

Consultancies like Deloitte or Accenture are bridging the gap between agencies and the freelancer market. In a corporate world of brands, they are an appealing partner for outsourcing key areas of business. Over the past two decades, consultancies acquired dozens of agencies and hired thousands of digital experts.

In a quest to act fast and do what’s best for their business, clients are reconsidering their options, and agencies’ reviews seem to happen more often. Agency–client relations are shortened to sometimes only one project. In the end, it results in a much more complex, competitive landscape for agencies. They have to make their place and meet clients’ growing expectations, reinvent themselves, and find their competitive edge between all the players involved in the fight to avoid a Kodak moment.

How agencies are adapting now

Not all agencies are created equal and some may adapt better than others to the change.
WPP, the largest advertising agency group, has strongly suffered since the departure of Sir Martin Sorrell, forcing the company to sell assets to raise money. It has sold 36 divisions since last April, helping to strengthen its balance sheet.
On the other hand, Publicis devoted all its network funds allocated to award participation to develop Marcel, its very own AI tool helping to strengthen the ‘Power of One’ and turn the size of the network into a strength. Indeed, the larger agencies are even more under pressure than the smaller, more agile agencies from the reality of the business. Even though smaller agencies also feel the struggle of finding new clients.

But why? If there is an increasing demand and a diversified offering, with agencies hearing clients and adapting, then why is it that agencies of all sizes struggle in finding new clients?
We turned the question upside down and inside out. The truth is, for any client, it’s not about agencies, consultancies, or freelancers. It’s about what you know.

How clients find what they need

So how do clients find an agency that suits their business needs? The agency selection process is not the same for everyone, but there are a few common guidelines that dictate how it has been done for decades. We all know it’s common to send RFI and RFPs, and to meet with the agency or service provider to make sure there’s a chemistry.

But you can’t simply send RFIs to or meet all available agencies. Sometimes you might even need to skip the RFI. However, you have to preselect the best candidates. Unconsciously, you will start with what you know from your past experience, feedback you’ve heard, information you read. Then most likely you will extend this knowledge by:

  • Sourcing your network: asking your friends
  • Searching online: mostly on search engines
  • Asking a consultant to do it for you

At this stage, data is the key factor that will make you decide which one to choose from.
Well, the Internet is the answer, right? We have access to so much information now that you will certainly find the best one, right

Did you know that it is said that every two days we produce the same amount of information that humanity has produced from the dawn of age till 2003. Try to find a needle in a haystack! The truth is there’s an information clutter… We have access to an unprecedented amount of data, but only 0.5% of the world’s data is analysed.
So how do you really decide which one to contact? How can clients quickly identify good agencies from the very specific, often narrow specializers? How can clients quickly compare agencies in many areas? How can agencies present themselves to clients and find new business relations?
The answer is again data… Meaningful and accessible data.

Enter Ad World Masters: Agency ranking powered by AI

Ad World Masters facilitate the agency search and accelerate collaboration between agencies and clients by centralizing and analysing agency data.
With the help of technology, we are making agency search no harder than searching for a flight or a hotel. In the era of digitalization, we feel both agencies and clients can benefit from a solution solving the two-sided problem of finding an agency or finding clients.

What is Ad World Masters?

  • the first worldwide agency ranking platform
  • the only agency ranking basing on AI combining human controlled and external data (+160 analysed points for each agency)
  • nearly 10,000 referenced agencies
  • a place for marketers to search and review agencies
  • a place for agencies to promote themselves and discover leads

We recommend reading our dedicated posts about ADWM benefits for marketers and benefits for agencies.

Our mission, your future!

Ad World Masters mission is to help agencies grow while proposing clients a place to find the right agency faster.
We are still in the beginning of our long-term mission. After two years developing Ad World Masters and three months in the beta phase, we recently released version 1.1 and we keep improving the platform to accomplish our goal. We saw a lot of enthusiasm from clients and agencies during the beta period.
We are already developing and planning our next releases. It’s going to be a game-changer. Helping marketers and agencies collaborate like never before.

It’s time to embrace the change!

Register today and stay in the loop.

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